Commodore Introduction and News
I hope that you find our two-weekly newsletters useful informative and entertaining. As we approach the spring, and as government restrictions allow more activities, we will hopefully revert to our usual weekly offering.
During all the lock-down periods, our Management Committee have continued to conduct their monthly meetings from home by means of "Zoom" video conferencing, all-necessary maintenance and repair work has been carried out at Plas Heli to ensure our readiness to resume club activities as soon as this is permitted. The publication of this issue of the newsletter has been delayed by a few hours in order to bring you an update on current restrictions following The Welsh Government review held yesterday Thursday 18th February, and announced in today's briefing.
In the last newsletter we brought you news regarding the delivery of the new RNLI SLARS (Shannon Launch and Recovery System) to the new station at Pwllheli. The local shore crew have wasted no time in getting to grips with the new equipment. Thanks to CHPSC member Graeme Harrold for his excellent article (below) giving us all an insight into training with the new system.
Last week’s “Beast from the East” brought some record-breaking low temperatures for some parts of the UK. A weather station in Braemar recoded -23 degrees C, the lowest recorded temperature in the UK since 1995. In complete contrast The Met Office are predicting a dramatic change for this coming weekend with some areas predicted to reach up to 17 degrees C. This change, I’m sure will be welcomed by everyone including this poor fellow born last week at a local farm in Abererch!
Those of you who have been following The America’s Cup sailing will no doubt be aware that Sir Ben Ainslie and Ineos Team UK are trailing 4 points to 0 to the Italian Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team at the end of day two of The Prada Cup. The first team to seven points will win the match and go forward to race against the defending Emirates Team New Zealand on the 6th March. Day 3, scheduled for Wednesday 17th February was then postponed due to Auckland being placed in level 3 Covid Restrictions. Racing is now planned to continue tomorrow, Saturday 20th with the UK team having a huge hill to climb if they are to get themselves back in contention. If you have ever wondered what non-sailors make of America’s Cup Racing or you are an avid fan of CH4’s Gogglebox series then click here
Meanwhile work continues on the clean-up and refurbishment of the Dinghy and Events compound at Plas Heli. Many thanks to everyone who has helped with this initiative. There is still a long way to go and plenty of work for our volunteers when restrictions are lifted.
There are no 6 Nations rugby fixtures this weekend but the competition resumes next weekend after some truly unbelievable results and with Wales chasing a 22nd Triple Crown win.
Next weekend’s fixtures are:
Saturday 27th February.
ITALY V IRELAND K.O. 14.15hrs
WALES v ENGLAND K.O. 16.45hrs
Sunday 28th February.
FRANCE v SCOTLAND K.O. 15.00hrs.
The Covid 19 Vaccine roll out in all devolved nations of the UK appear to be on schedule. In Gwynedd, we are told all residents over 70 have been offered the first dose and the vaccination of people in the 60-65 year old group has commenced.
Let’s all continue to abide by the Government restrictions and heed their advice. Hopefully a more normal life awaits us in the not-too-distant future.
Cymerwch ofal ac arhoswch yn ddiogel - Take care and stay safe
Gerallt Williams - Commodore
The club has a webcam mounted on the Plas Heli Bridge, and the live images can be viewed here, or at the bottom of the website home page.
An additional webcam will be installed later this year looking over the Plas Heli pontoons and marina and will be streamed in the member's area of the club website.
Welsh Government Alert Level 4
Today's FM announcement confirmed a small change that allow up to four people (from two households) to now exercise outdoors together. Further easing of restrictions will be announced on March 12th .
Latest RYA Cymru Wales advice here
BREXIT - RYA Guidance
Border force (customs) requirements for recreational boats leaving UK waters (for example visiting Ireland) are listed here with links to the forms etc
Gorsaf Bad Achub Pwllheli Lifeboat Station - Shannon Launch and Recovery System
Article and photos courtesy of Lyndsay and Graeme Harrold in cooperation with Tomos Moore (Press Officer RNLI Pwllheli) and the RNLI
RNLI Pwllheli have been busy getting the new station ready, in anticipation of the arrival of the new Shannon class lifeboat, including ensuring the recently arrived SLARS (Shannon Launch and Recovery System) is ready for its counterpart.
Five members of the existing crew, including club member Graeme Harrold, have now completed the SLARS operator course. Graeme has given us an update on activities so far.
This week has been a tremendous leap forward in transferring over to the new station and boat and training will progressively ramp up as more crew are brought up to speed, and we are now looking forward to the arrival of a relief boat at the new station soon. Meanwhile, our training continues on the Mersey as well, as this will remain on active service until the new station and crew have been passed out and the Shannon is then brought onto active service.
The new state-of-the-art tractor and trailer is significantly longer than the current Mersey and Talus system. Everything has been designed, in order to reduce the manual handling by the shore crew and speed up the boat recovery time.
Once in the tractor cab, everything is within easy reach of the driver, two joysticks contain the controls for the mobility of the tractor and all of the service ancillaries such as the winch, tilt, lift and rotation of the trailer slipway. A computer screen relays pertinent information to the driver applicable to the operating mode selected. With all of this additional functionality, there is a higher level of understanding from the operator, along with a close working relationship with the head launcher overseeing the whole operation. When in action, the SLARS is the fastest and safest unit the RNLI now employs, meaning we can attend callouts quicker and potentially save more lives.
Under the current COVID situation, training is strictly controlled, with access to the station limited to only those on training. Over the coming weeks the SLARS rig will be prominent on the beach for both driver and crew training. Please do keep your distance from the rig and trainees as there will be ample time to get up close when restrictions ease.
RYA Cruising Conference goes Virtual for 2021
“We have a broad range of speakers and workshops lined up for the day, from cruising sailors to technical specialists and RYA experts. We look forward to sharing the full conference programme very soon.”
Booking for the 2021 RYA Cruising Conference is expected to go live in early January. For all the latest conference news visit the RYA Cruising Conference page or follow the Royal Yachting Association on Facebook and Twitter.
Cruising - Anchoring
A safe anchorage?
Selecting a good place to anchor.
Selecting an anchorage
Quite often anchoring is free and you can anchor nearly anywhere so long as you are not getting in anyone's way. Pilot books, local charts and notices to mariners may identify places which offer good holding or have any seasonal, geographical or special anchorage restrictions in place.
- Select an anchorage protected from the wind and swell. Ideally, the wind will be blowing out of the anchorage.
- Observe how other vessels are lying or assess the conditions of wind and tide to decide how you will lay.
- Check the forecasted weather to see whether the anchorage will still offer protection when the wind changes. If there is the slightest chance of bad weather plan an escape route. It should take into account of leaving the anchorage by day or by night.
1)Initially this anchorage would provide adequate shelter from the present wind direction although it may be prone from swell coming around the headland.
2)This anchorage would offer shelter from the present and forecast wind. It may be a bit rolly due to the sea rebounding off the downwind cliff when the wind changes.
3)This anchorage, although open offers good protection from both winds and offers an escape route if required.
Always make sure you have a good look at the chart to check that there are no obstructions on the seabed.
If you are anchoring in uncertain areas or over foul ground a tripping line can be used. They are often buoyed lines attached to the forward edge of the anchor to help raise it if it's snagged. Ensure the first part of the line is weighted to keep the line below the surface, away from propellers. A buoyed tripping line indicates the anchors position, but can also catch around keels and props.
Raising a fouled anchor by the tripping line should clear the obstruction
When selecting your exact anchorage bear in mind that all boats lay differently to the wind or stream, therefore allow enough swinging room. Yachts with deep keels will lay with the stream whereas flat-bottomed motorboats often lay to the wind.
More scope increases the swinging circle as does low water, so ensure the maximum swinging circle clears obstructions.
Using two anchors
Boats should have two sets of anchor and cable; a large one at the bow (bower anchor), and a smaller one kept in a locker for emergencies (kedge). The second anchor is used to increase holding power in heavy weather or to reduce the swinging circle taken up in an anchorage. To reduce the swinging circle the second anchor can be used in many different ways. For example:
- When one anchor is dropped from the bow and the other from the stern it should keep the boat in line with a river or in a small deep hole in which you are anchoring.
- Two anchors dropped from the bow will increase holding power and also reduce the swinging circle especially in shifting wind.
Article courtesy of the RYA and Simon Jinks - Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner
Further articles regarding anchor watch, safety and anchoring gear are on the club website in the cruising section and can be accessed here
Boredom Buster Video - Documentary - Alone On the Waves
Although subtitled, this Czech language film is very inspiring, and beautifully put together. Well worth a watch here
2021 Membership Rates
Membership of CHPSC for 2021
The membership year is from 1st January to 31st December.
2021 Fee Structure
Primary Member - £65
Joint Membership - £115
Racing Skipper - £125
Joint Racing Skipper - £180
Associate Member - £75
Student/Apprentice Member - £30
Youth Member - £20
Small (Optimist/Topper) £55 (£48 early payment)
Medium (Laser) £65 £55 early payment)
Large (Merlin Rocket) £85 (£75 early payment)
Multi Hulls (Dart etc) £95 (£83 early payment)
Road Trailer £50 or £75 for 2 stacked
Box storage trailers under 10 feet £60 (£75 for larger box trailers)
You can purchase a club burgee or pay for your club calendar postage as part of your membership process!
Reasons to be a member in 2021
Pwllheli Sailing Club offers something for everyone, casual boaters, a base for cruising, racing and motor boating together with being a great venue for events, training and importantly a fantastic meeting place, with views, for friends.
In addition to all of the varied activities featured in this e-newsletter (120,300 individual e-mails sent in 2020/21 - see past copies here), membership of the club provides:
- Meeting place for likeminded people in a friendly environment
- Affiliated membership of the RYA who safeguard recreational boating in the UK
- Helps to support youth sailing (CHIPAC)
- Training and Development - RYA courses run by club members
- Dinghy and keelboat racing opportunities
- Cruises in company
- Great social events - club members have priority
- Discounted berthing at Plas Heli pontoons,
- Dinghy storage in the refurbished and secure compound
- Access to CHIPAC for members children to learn to sail with experienced instructors teaching in the medium of Welsh and English
- Members can gain RYA qualifications through volunteering experience at club events.
- Advertise your Holiday Accommodation to a target audience of visitors to the area during events (small fee applies)
- Receive regular e-newsletters with useful information
- 10% discount at the bar in Plas Heli
- Easy membership (application/renewal) process all on-line and starting from £65 for the year!
- Racing Skipper membership includes all racing entry fees, except the IRC Champs and the ISORA element of coastal races.
The 2021 racing programme has been developed by club Racing Captain Vicky Cox, and is published on the website, and the club activity calendar here
Racing and event updates will be confirmed in the Friday newsletter when the applicable restrictions are known.
Club Racing at CHPSC is arranged under the guidelines of the RYA/RYA Cymru Wales and the latest charter is reproduced below.
The centre is closed in line with Welsh Government Alert Level 4 restrictions. New opening hours will be posted as soon as restrictions are eased, and our bar and catering partner's have assessed what they can offer.
In order that the club and centre can open re-promptly, there is some essential maintenance work being undertaken on the infrastructure of Plas Heli and both Plas Heli and CHPSC equipment by the Directors and Flag Officers, in line with Welsh Government Regulations. In addition a review of the facilities is currently underway.
When restrictions are eased a little, we will be looking for additional volunteers to ensure a smooth return to club activities. All voluntary activities will be managed to keep members safe, and all within allowable guidelines.
J24's for sale - expressions of interest
A project is underway to look at the feasibility of replacing the two academy J24's with a lift keel sportboat, to use for race training, club racing and for CHIPAC sailors to transition to keelboats. It will also be available for charter into class events in the UK and Ireland, representing Wales.
Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, has been awarded the venue rights for the 'IRC Welsh National Championships' for 2021 and 2022. The Championship is hosted by Plas Heli, and organised/managed by CHPSC and the RDYC.
We now are recruiting volunteers for event planning purposes and if you would like to contribute, or have any suggestions to enhance the event, please reply to this newsletter. The first planning meeting was held last week via "zoom" to agree the format of racing and framework to publish the Notice of Race, which should be published very shortly and the entry procedure opened.
Thought for the Day:
"once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results"
For more information, membership links and the latest weather and webcam
Plas Heli Quayside Parking
The parking area on the Plas Heli Quayside is available for paid up CHPSC members and to authorised pontoon users.
The parking area is accessed through the gate adjacent to the old club building
The code to the gate is changed regularly and can be obtained through the plasheli.org website > Facilities> Parking. For convenience follow this shortcut link here
Fill in the details – put a tick in the box to confirm that you are a CHPSC member (have your 2021 membership number ready)
Then in the payment bit – use ‘I am a paid up CHPSC member and request permit for parking’ - Then Submit
You will then receive an automated return e-mail with instructions
Please make sure the gate is closed and locked at all times and that the padlock is never left open or with the code left on the dial